Posts Tagged ‘1984’

Missing Paris

Thursday, November 12th, 2020
1984

I’m missing Paris. My first visit there was in 1966, when I spent a week or two in a Protestant student hostel a few miles south of the centre with my future wife – though in separate double rooms, each with another of the same sex – and students from around the mainly Francophone world. After breakfast each day we took the train for the short journey to the Left Bank and spent the day as tourists in the city and nearby attractions, though mainly just walking around the city as we were both still penniless students.

Paris 2008

We lunched outdoors in parks and squares, buying baguettes and stuffing them with chocolate or pate as we couldn’t afford cafes or bars, eating cheap fruit for afters. We went out of Paris to Versailles, where I managed to drop my camera in the lake as we climbed into a boat to row around the lake. The boatman fished it out and handed it back to me as we got out of the boat, rather obviously expecting a reward, but all I could afford was my thanks. The camera never worked reliably after that, and it was five years before I could afford to replace it.

We returned to the hostel for an evening meal, which introduced me to some very strange dishes – and I think one evening as a special treat we were given a kind of horsemeat stew; it tasted fine, but I’ve never sought to repeat the experience. After dinner we crowded into a room with the rest of the inhabitants to watch the games of the World Cup, though I’d gone home before the final.

Quai de Jemappes / Rue Bichat, 10e, Paris, 1984

It was some years before we could afford another foreign holiday – we’d spent our honeymoon in Manchester with a day trip to the Lake District, a visit to Lyme Park and some walks around Glossop. But in 1973 we were back for a couple of weeks in Paris, this time at a hostel in the centre and sharing a room. We took with us the Michelin Guide (in French) and I think followed every walk in the book, which took us to places most tourists never reach – it was then much more thorough than the later English versions.

Monmartre, 1973

In 1973 I had two cameras with me. A large and clunky Russian Zenith B with its 58mm f/2 Helios lens and a short telephoto, probably the 85mm f2 Jupiter 9, but also the more advanced fixed lens rangefinder Olympus SP, with its superb 42mm f1.7 lens, a simple auto exposure system as well as full manual controls. I needed my Weston Master V exposure meter to work with the Zenith. You can see more of the photographs I took on my Paris Photos web site. Some of these pictures were in my first published magazine portfoliolater in 1973.

It was a while before we returned to Paris, though we went through it by train on our way to Aix-en-Provence and on bicycles from between stations on our way to the Loire Valley in the following couple of years. Then came two children, and it was 1984 before we returned to the city with them when I came to photograph my ‘Paris Revisited‘ a homage to one of the great photographers of Paris, Eugene Atget, which you can see in the Blurb Book and its preview as well as on my Paris Web site.

Placement libre-atelier galerie, Paris 2012

We returned to the city several times later in the 1980s and 1990s, and more regularly after 2000, when I went in several Novembers for a week, usually with my wife, to visit the large Paris Photo exhibition as well as many other shows which took place both as a part of the official event and its fringe. One week there I went to over 80 exhibitions, including quite a few openings.

La Villette, Canal St Martin, 19e, Paris 1984-paris285
1988

But the last time I was in Paris was in November 2012. Partly because Paris Photo changed and there seemed to be less happening around it in the wider city than in previous years. We’d planned to go in 2015 but were put off by Charlie Hebdo shooting and later the November terrorist attack. More attacks in 2018 also put us off visiting France, but we’d promised ourselves a visit to Paris in 2020 – and then came the virus.

88-8l-54-Edit_2400
1988

While I’ve been stuck at home since March, I have been visting France virtually, going back to my slides taken in 1974 in the South of France, of our ride up the Loire Valley in 1975 and of Paris in 1984, all of which are now on Flickr. Most recently I’ve returned to Paris in 1988, with over 300 black and white pictures from Paris and some of its suburbs.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Notting Hill 1994

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

I had a good year at Carnival in 1994, taking some of the pictures of the event I like best, and I think rather more varied than some years, as these pictures show:

Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94-8bj-65_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94-8bk-46_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94-8bl-62_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94-8bl-63-8_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94-8bn-43-16_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94-8bc-51-16_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94-8bf-43_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94-8bf-52-16_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94-8bh-36-16_2400

You can see more pictures from 1984 – and other years – in my Flickr album.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


From the Royals

Monday, July 13th, 2020

I find to my surprise that it is very nearly seven years since I self-published my book ‘The Deserted Royals‘ and wrote a little about it here. Some of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen the rather wider range of pictures from that project made back in 1984 that I’m currently posting daily as my ‘story’ there, though I find Facebook particularly adept in hiding those posts I’d like to see and instead feeding me cats and celebs.

The ‘Royals’ in question are of course the Royal Docks, and most of my work was on the Royal Albert and King George V Docks in North Woolwich, by then part of the London Borough of Newham. I’d tried to photograph them from publicly accessible locations (with the usual mild bit of trespassing) but had found this very limiting, and wrote to the Port of London Authority who still owned these two docks, requesting permission to photograph them from the inside. Rather to my surprise they replied and granted me the access I’d requested. A similar letter to the owners of the Royal Victoria Dock went unanswered.

As well as the daily release on Facebook I will shortly be adding these pictures, along with others I took of London in 1984 to my Flickr album London 1984. At the moment it has pictures I took earlier in the year, including some from the West India Docks. I decided at the start of this year to put pictures on Flickr at a relatively high resolution and high quality and to trust any commercial users to respect my copyright and contact me to pay for usage. Although it’s almost certainly over-idealistic, I don’t think I’m likely to lose any significant income. I’ve used these larger images in this post and if you right click and open them in a new tab you can see them larger than in the post.

Here are a few of the pictures I’ve recently posted on Facebook, along with the usually short texts which accompany them, beginning below with an introductory picture and ending with today’s picture, about which I wrote a little more than usual.


South Quay, King George V Dock, Newham 1984
84-7c-21.
I had obtained permission from the PLA to photograph inside the dock area they owned – the King George V and Royal Albert Docks two docks on two days, and made my first visit in July. The security men in the gate house were clearly surprised that anyone should want to come and take pictures, but not very interested in what I did. Once inside there was no security presence and I could wander freely on the south quay of the King George V dock and on the central peninsula between the two docks, though their was no access to the north side of Albert Dock.
I was not supposed to enter any of the buildings, which could be unsafe, but I did take a number of pictures through windows and doorways, and later did cautiously enter some of the smaller buildings that seemed safe. On my first visit I exposed around ten rolls of black and white film – 360 exposures as well as some colour transparencies over around six or seven hours of work.
Iason and Ion are the two ships which could be seen in the distance in some pictures posted earlier, at the west end of the north quay of the King George V dock. To the left is the dry or graving dock at the west end of the dock, full of water.

King George V Dock, Newham 1984
84-7e-63.
A bollard and a more substantial shed on the land between the two docks, now the runway for London City Airport, looking roughly east. The row of cranes is along the north side of the King George V Dock.

Office curtain, King George V Dock, Royal Albert Dock, Newham 1984
84-7l-53.
This was one of the few pictures, possibly the only picture, where I used flash to capture the curtain blowing in the wind and to balance the light inside the office with that outside. It was quite a pretty curtain, a landscape with trees and something of a Japanese feel, but it was the wall-paper that attracted me more with its groups of small fishing boats in front of a shore with what was probably meant to be a fortress but looked to me more like a cement works like those further down the Thames.
Obviously the scene outside the window with its cranes was vital to the picture, and balancing the light levels inside and outside was no simple matter. Nowadays modern cameras do this kind of thing automatically but back then it involved calculations using distance and the flash guide number, careful exposure measurements through the window and a great deal of luck. It was made more difficult by the slow flash sync speed of all SLR cameras of the time, limited by their focal plane shutters, in this case to 1/60th of a second. I think it was the first time I’d tried to do anything like this, though I had read about it in photographic magazines and I only took a single frame, so it was definitely a case of beginner’s luck

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Land Of My Fathers

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

Well, not quite, but our family do have strong Welsh connections. The only grandparent I ever knew was a small woman dressed in black who sat in a corner of the parlour beside the coal fire, with its permanent kettle on the hob, and if she spoke at all it was at least with a strong Welsh accent, though she had a quiet voice and I was never certain it was in English.

She had a name, Eliza, though she died before I knew her as anything other than Gran’ma, and was born in Llansantffraed, Radnorshire in 1865 where her family farmed. Llan-Santfraid Yn Elvael is a few miles from Builth Wells, one of quite a few places named after St Ffraid the Nun, better known outside Wales as St Brigit, including another in Radnorshire, Llansantffraid Cwmmwd Deuddwr (aka Cwmtoyddwr.) Her family farmed at Llan-gyfrwys, or Llangoveris, not far from Hundred House and every Christmas my father or uncle would go up to Paddington Station to collect a bird sent up for the family table, a duck or a goose, which around 20 of us, my aunts, uncle, father, mother and cousins would sit around the table to eat, though I insisted on eating only the chipolatas, not liking the rather greasy birds.

As a young woman she had been sent up to London to work in a family business, a Welsh dairy near Mount Pleasant, on the Gray’s Inn Road, and I imagine Fredrick Marshall, a young tradesman around her age who had moved into London from Cheshunt came into the shop as a customer, and they were married at Highgate Road, later moving to set up home in Hounslow were he set up a small cart-making business and she running a small shop and bearing five girls and two boys, one my father.

One of those girls married a Welsh man who I think she met when she was sent to Wales to look after an elderly relative there, and they had a home at Aberedw, a few miles south of Builth where her husband was a river warden on the Wye. I spent several summers in their house as a small child, probably when my mother was in hospital and I think we often ate salmon.

Back then we travelled to Aberedw by train (the line closed at the end of 1962) and there were several possible routes, though trains were infrequent on all. Trains from Hereford or Cardiff I think took us to Three Cocks Junction where we changed for Aberedw. When I last went to Aberedw by train in the late 1950s you had to tell the guard when boarding that you wanted to alight there, and to catch the train from there you stood on the platform and waved frantically at the driver.

The most exciting route was to come up through the valleys from Cardiff through Merthyr Tydfil (though I don’t remember the details, and I think there was probably another change involved) but the scenery with mountains, colleries and factories was rather more impressive than the lusher fields of Hay and Hereford.

I can’t now exactly remember how my trip to Merthyr came about, but I think I probably managed to persuade several friends from a small group of photographers that it would be a great place to go at that time, within a day or two of the announcement by the National Coal Board of the closure of more than 20 pits that led to the Miners’ Strike. It was clear that this was the end of an era for industry in South Wales, and was a part of Thatcher’s plan to end manufacturing and turn the UK into a service economy – which I had been documenting with a series of pictures of closed factories around London.

I think I was the only one of the four who didn’t have a car, but the four of us drove down I think together in Terry King, who had organised a couple of nights at a guest house and read up a little on the area.

I’ve just put a album with many of the pictures I took on this trip onto Flickr, where you can browse all of them at high resolution. Most are from Trehafod around the Lewis Merthyr colliery and from Cwmaman, as well as Dowlais and Cefn Coed. As always I’m happy for images to be shared on social media but retain copyright, and a licence is needed for any commercial or editorial use.

Wales 1984 – Views from the valleys

After taking these pictures I made some attempt to get funding to return and do more work in the area, but without success.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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